Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Year in Pictures...More or Less

Hooray!! I reached a milestone this week, with my hundredth sale in my Etsy shop, which has been in existence for four months. With 99 sales thus far, since Christmas I'd been hoping to reach 100 sales before 2011 rolled around. By golly, not only did I reach it, I surpassed it--the kind customer bought three items and brought me over my goal. Thanks to all my customers who supported my shop in this initial venture of mine in the retail world of vintage and collectibles.

Just to share a bit of my 2010 adventures...

I started off the year by getting married (yes, in the middle of winter). I wanted rustic pine cones and berries for my flowers ...
... and ended up with something a bit more sophisticated.

Went on a pseudo-honeymoon, really just a weekend getaway -- also in the middle of winter. We stayed in a woodsy cabin, as part of a country inn and guess what happened the first evening?

The electricity went out. No lights, no hot tub, no heat--except the fireplace.

I made the chocolate cake, hubby made the non-chocolate one.
Celebrated my mother's ninetieth birthday.
She is very proud of her age, as well she should be. She neither looks nor acts like a nonagenarian.

Took a trip to Italy in the summer. Fabulous, amazing country, but I don't advise going in August.
It was as hot as it is at home.

Began making jewelry with vintage buttons and charms to satisfy a creative urge that was growing increasingly insistent.

Quit my job in health care to join the world of retail, selling antiques, vintage and collectibles on Etsy, which has been such a blast --striking up new acquaintances and learning so much! Started this blog too--thanks to all of you followers kind enough to tag along with me.

And now here it is, the end of an eventful year. Yes there were some crises to deal with occasionally, but I won't dwell on them. This has been a memorable time and I'm grateful.
So let's have a toast to a very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Clauses Are Coming to Town

Forty Seven! That's how many little resin Santa Claus figurines my mother owns. They reside in a beautiful antique corner cabinet, along with many other delightful miniature objects. She found these St. Nicks at flea markets, thrift stores and dollar stores. Said she never paid more than a dollar for any of 'em. 
This being The Season, let's take a look. Be sure to turn up the volume too!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Salt and Pepper, Herbs and Spices

How many of you have your very own personal chef? Well, I do... in fact, I have eighteen of them, male, female, young, old, foreign, domestic. The majority are dressed in white, which makes them a bit old-fashioned and behind the times, since chefs' togs now come in a multitude of colors and patterns. 
The only trouble is, I cannot get these chefs to cook anything. 
All they want to do is apply seasoning. 

You see, they are my collection of chef salt and pepper shakers.

For a while long ago, I had a bit of an obsession with collecting chef salt and pepper shakers. I was working in the restaurant/pastry worlds.  I loved going to flea markets. Putting the two together, you can probably begin to see where I'm going with this. Searching for something specific at flea markets make the experience of more of a challenge -- a treasure hunt, if you will. I became attracted to these little chefs, as I was sort of one myself. The S & P's were small, inexpensive, and didn't take up much room at home. After a while, the obsession wound down and, after beginning to gather other non-chef, yet kitchen-related S's & P's, I stopped collecting them altogether.

The group picture reminds me of a graduating cooking class photo. 
Here are some close-ups:
These are my favorites. The couple on the left resemble cooks from the 1920s and she is holding what appears to be a saucepan. The lady on the right introduces herself as Salt and her partner is Pep.

These two couples are more daring and stylish, with their colorful outfits.

This seems to be the Dutch contingent, holding knives and trimmed in gilt.

The two outer ones are identical twins and are, in fact, both salt shakers--never could find the peppers. Cute couple in the middle, wouldn't you say?

Given to me by a friend, these two are more modern.

In an effort to consume less salt, it helps to find a seasoning mix that enhances the food. In my home, our favorite "salt-substitute" is called Florida Pepper from Penzey's Spices. It is a combination of Tellicherry black pepper, lemon peel, orange peel, citric acid, garlic and onion.They have numerous shops around the country and also offer mail-order. As you can see, our bottle has been well-used; we buy in bulk and refill when the bottles get low.